Princess of Wales is dashing the hopes of a generation of photographers, snapper moans

Author: Yuvi September 30, 2022


The Princess of Wales is dashing the hopes of a generation of photographers by taking her own pictures of the royal children rather than letting someone else ‘make their name’ doing it, a royal photographer has said.

Kate, 40, has published photos over the years to mark significant occasions, such as the birthdays of her three children.

But royal photographer John Swannell said she is denying others the opportunity to make their name.

‘All the work I got with the royals really elevated my career; Nowadays, someone like me just won’t have the chance,’ he said.

‘Those chances should be given to young English photographers.’

Kate, 40, has published photos over the years to mark significant occasions. Pictured, Prince William with Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis in 2020

Celebrated royal photographer John Swannell said that Kate is denying others the opportunity to make their name

Celebrated royal photographer John Swannell said that Kate is denying others the opportunity to make their name

Mr Swannell said there were some benefits to the Princess taking the images herself.

He added: ‘In some ways, though, Kate is probably right to do it herself. She’s not a great photographer, but she just snaps away, and with kids it’s easier if you know them.’

The Princess’ passion for photography dates back to before she became a member of the Firm, having produced her undergraduate thesis on photographs of children.

She became the first member of the royal family to take the first official photographs of a royal baby back in 2015, when she released her snaps of newborn Charlotte in the arms of her big brother Prince George.

Earlier this year, the then Duchess of Cambridge shared an image of her son Prince George to mark his ninth birthday.

Earlier this year, the then Duchess of Cambridge shared an image of her son Prince George to mark his ninth birthday

Earlier this year, the then Duchess of Cambridge shared an image of her son Prince George to mark his ninth birthday

Princess Charlotte was pictured in Norfolk for her seventh birthday on May 2, 2022 with cocker spaniel Orla

Princess Charlotte was pictured in Norfolk for her seventh birthday on May 2, 2022 with cocker spaniel Orla

Prince Louis in Norfolk in a picture taken for his fourth birthday on 23 April 2022

Prince Louis in Norfolk in a picture taken for his fourth birthday on 23 April 2022

It was taken on a family trip to the beach in July, after George and his siblings had broken up from school for the summer.

In 2020, a picture she took of Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis as they piled on to their beaming father, Prince William, was released.

The photograph was published to mark Father’s Day and William’s 38th birthday.

It was shared alongside another picture of William cuddling then two-year-old Louis on his knee while Princess Charlotte, five, and Prince George, six, larked around them. The swing they were sitting on had significance for Father’s Day, as it was a wedding present from Prince Charles.

Kate, a keen photographer, took the pictures in the grounds of their Norfolk country home, Anmer Hall.

The photograph shows the three siblings giggling uncontrollably and piling on to a beaming Prince William.  Pictured, the family in 2020

The photograph shows the three siblings giggling uncontrollably and piling on to a beaming Prince William. Pictured, the family in 2020

She has also released images of her children playing in Norfolk on the beaches and among bluebells.

Other images of the three children have been taken for their first day at nursery school.

In 2020, pictures were also released of Princess Charlotte volunteering during the pandemic. She helped to pack and deliver food packages for isolated pensioners living near the Sandringham Estate.

Royal expert Camilla Tominey previously said the then Duchess of Cambridge has ‘taken ownership of Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis’ public image’.

Ms Tominey said that the model is ‘unique’ for the couple and helps the family maintain a level of privacy for their three children.

Speaking to The Telegraph last year, she said: ‘The paparazzi – there’s no market anymore because the Duchess comes out with her own family photos and they’re far more valuable to the press than images taken at a long lense.

‘That’s how The Cambridges are going to strike the balance, they’re going to give in order to receive a degree of privacy back.’

Princess Charlotte helped to pack up and deliver food packages for isolated pensioners in the local area in Sandringham in April 2020

Princess Charlotte helped to pack up and deliver food packages for isolated pensioners in the local area in Sandringham in April 2020

The Duchess of Cambridge, 39, has 'taken ownership of Prince George, eight, Princess Charlotte, six, and Prince Louis', three, image' by releasing photographs of her children for special occasions like birthdays, Camilla Tominey claimed

The Duchess of Cambridge, 39, has ‘taken ownership of Prince George, eight, Princess Charlotte, six, and Prince Louis’, three, image’ by releasing photographs of her children for special occasions like birthdays, Camilla Tominey claimed

Kate is a keen amateur photographer and has become known for releasing candid snaps of her children

Kate is a keen amateur photographer and has become known for releasing candid snaps of her children

Speaking as the then Duchess released a beaming snap of her eldest son George on his eighth birthday, Ms Tominey said: ‘George’s childhood will be very different from the royals who have gone before him.

‘His generation is the digital generation and the challenges for the Cambridges as time goes on is how to manage public interest in their son with their own privacy.’

She said she thought Prince George’s appearance at Wembley last year was because the little royal is ‘genuinely’ a football fan, but added: ‘Equally the Cambridges do want the public to see their children and have some degree of access to them.

‘You’ve got balance the private and the public of their lives and there’s an expectation of seeing George grow up because he will one day be King.’

The chief curator at Historic Royal Palaces previously said the Royal Family ‘see photography as their very own superpower’.

Historian Lucy Worsley told The Times that being snapped was ‘vital to the very survival’ of The Firm.

She said that if royal tour photographs aren’t great, the tour is often deemed a failure, revealing: ‘Every image carries a message and nobody understands this better than the royal family.’

Ms Worsley explained that the royal family were among the early adopters of ‘the wonder of science’ that is photography.

She explained: ‘They were quick to realize that photography presented not a problem but an opportunity.’

London-based award-winning photographer Bronwen Sharpe has previously praised Kate for her ability to capture ‘authentic unstaged moments’.

In 2019, she told FEMAIL: ‘No other photographer would be able to capture the same connection she has with her children. There is a real warmth and love that is present in her work.

‘She has a natural ability to capture humanity with a great eye for composition and colour.’

Her use of color is also praised by paparazzi photographer Jaimie Harris.

‘She always puts them in bright outfits which make a photo pop,’ she explained.

Kate's use of color is praised by paparazzi photographer Jaimie Harris, who says the Duchess uses bright outfits to make the photos 'pop'.  Pictured, Princess Charlotte in a snap taken to mark her second birthday in April 2017

Kate’s use of color is praised by paparazzi photographer Jaimie Harris, who told how the Duchess uses bright outfits to make the photos pop. Pictured is Princess Charlotte in a snap taken to mark her second birthday in April 2017

‘I think she’s definitely improved since her first George and Charlotte photos, she’s now experimenting with different light by venturing outside into the garden.’

After becoming the first member of the royal family to take the first official photographs of a royal baby back in 2015, she has captured several official photographs to mark important family milestones.

Royal fans often wait in trepidation for the pictures, which typically capture their subjects looking natural and relaxed.

Ms Sharpe said the real strength of her recent work is in the way she ‘captures joy and real moments in her subjects’ expressions’.

‘Kate has a great ability to frame and capture unstaged moments. She has an intuitive eye for colour, composition and light, often placing her subjects in soft lighting,’ she explained.

The Princess’ passion for photography dates back to before she became a member of the Firm.

Her official profile on the British Monarchy’s website includes a list of hobbies which features ‘photography’, and explains: ‘A passionate photographer, The Princess has shared many of her photos with the public over the years. In January 2020 she took part in a special photography project to mark the 75th anniversary of the end of the Holocaust, contributing two powerful photographic portraits of Holocaust survivors and their families.’

Kate has showcased an artistic flare since her teens, having studied art history at the University of St. Andrews, where she met Prince William. She produced her undergraduate thesis on the era of photography — in particular, photographs of children.

30 September, 2022, 8:00 am

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